Review: ‘ODDINARY’ provides emotional messages through hype sound

Stray Kids releases sixth mini album


Courtesy of JYP Entertainment.

Back at it again with their iconic electronic sound, K-Pop group Stray Kids released their first mini album of the year, “ODDINARY,” on March 18. Ever since its initial announcement, their fandom has been waiting in anticipation for its release, and after many teasers, they weren’t disappointed. 

The album contains seven brand new tracks from the group and portrays internal struggles people have, including the yearn for acceptance, toxic relationships and letting go of resentment. Tackling hard subjects such as these is not new for the group, but releasing this album helped them reach out to their audience as a warm EDM-filled hug.

Introducing the album, Stray Kids begin with the track “Venom.” Including heavy forms of electronic dance music (EDM), the track gets its name from the lyrics which include metaphors of spiders. Those spiders are put to use in the band’s message about feeling stuck in a situation and not being able to get out no matter how hard you struggle. Where the lyrics “It’s tied up tightly” and “I’m trapped in this sticky web” come into play.

Immediately after the introduction comes the title track “Maniac” which became a fan favorite in a matter of seconds. It speaks about faking personalities in order to be accepted and the constant pressure people have to change themselves until going insane, which people in modern society are unfortunately able to relate to. Lyrics such as “The street I’m walking on is a minefield” and “Like a dormant volcano, never know when it’ll explode” provide a feeling of anxiety and constant stress on the mind that comes with society’s pressures.

Since it is their title, “Maniac” was released with a music video that feels similar to a movie. The bright hair colors, outstanding visuals and well thought out choreography will be on replay in thousands of minds.

The next three tracks include the transition to the more mellow side of the mini album, “Charmer” and “Freeze.” These speak on the importance of recovering from mistakes and forgiveness which help the lead-in of “Lonely St.” The said track is slow and soft in sound and sets the overall tone. The band mentions the loneliness felt during the COVID-19 outbreak when they couldn’t see their fan base due to safety regulations. It’s the perfect song to make a fan cry uncontrollably.

Ending off the album, Stray Kids includes two tracks that separate the members in groups of four. “Waiting For Us” and “Muddy Water” are the complete opposite in genre of the first four tracks. These are easy-going songs, but still speak on heavier topics which is to be expected. By displaying the importance of letting go of grudges and “breathing the fresh air,” they reassure their audience to keep moving forward despite the possible obstacles they may face.

Set up like a perfect therapy session, Stray Kids does an incredible job at expressing society’s feelings and struggles. Their popularity will continue to grow as they represent the voice of younger generations.

While this is just a mini album, the band has put together a phenomenal set of songs that deserves 5 out of 5 stars. Bringing out all member’s voices and placing them in different vocal positions create an addicting sound. Stray Kids continues to lead on their message of embracing yourself and addressing subjects that some may sway away from. They’ll always be a comfort place for their community.